"I talk to my student teachers about failure all the time because they don’t need my help with success. Success is actually a naturally occurring phenomenon. If something’s not going well, you know it and roll with it. You need preparation for failure, not success.” (North, 26)
In some ways, it is when we fail and fall short that we learn. Not only do we struggle with a concept to learn it and appreciate our understanding of it, but we also come to learn about ourselves and the fluid nature of the verb “learn” when we fall short of an assignment. At my achievement-driven/grade-focused high school, I feel as though I was never given a chance to fail. There were times when, if it looked as though a student was going to "fail" a class/assignment/etc, her parents or the administration would step in and make a customized "solution" to the situation for that student. Failure didn't happen because there wasn't a chance for it to happen. It was so stigmatized that it virtually didn't exist. I think the school's denial of the option of failure ultimately did a disservice to its students--not only did we come to equate our selves with our records but we also all seemed to develop a colelctive phobia of "failing" grades, partially because I think a part of us felt as though they didn't actually exist. (Even though my high school was definitely not the kind of place that handed out As easily...) Furthermore, the denial of the option of failure also seems as though it could perpetuate the idea of valuing the final outcome, rather than the learning process.